Black Cat Discussion Questions
1. From what point of view is Poe’s story told and why is this view particularly effective for this story? The story is being told from a first person narrative point of view. Poe chooses the first person narration to give the reader a better level of understanding of the characters emotion, mental state and setting the plot for the story. With the narrator’s sick and twisted mind, the story becomes more interesting. The most important effect the narrator portrays is his mental state. Without his narration you cannot get the full effect of this murderous madman. The glee at my heart was too strong to be restrained. I burned to say if but one word, by way of triumph, and to render doubly sure their assurance of my guiltlessness” (7). The narrator has no remorse or guilt for killing his wife. For the narrator to say guiltlessness just goes to show how crazy he really became. A normal healthy person would never commit such an act nor have any remorse. 2. Explain how the reader knows the narrator is an unreliable narrator? The narrator’s opinions and actions are so far from normal that you are forced to wonder what is the real interpretation and reality of a madman.
Insanity and unstableness are very unreliable sources. How do you know what to believe or if there is any truth behind what they say? “Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence” (1). Using the word expect, is like he is already setting up the reader not to believe what he is going to say. The narrator blames the alcohol for his erratic and violent behavior. How reliable can one be if he blames his actions on drinking? You are your own person and make your own choice regardless of alcohol.
Yes, alcohol can be mined altering, but you still no the difference between right and wrong. 3. The murderer takes great precautions to commit the perfect crime. What trips him up? Explain. The narrator makes you believe he has committed the perfect murder. He assures the reader that no one can tell the difference in the wall. How the plaster matched perfectly and the bricks look as they had never been dissembled. He is so sure of his work that he believes the police will not even look at him as a suspect. “The second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor came not.
Once again I breathed as a freeman” (6). When the police come back for the fourth time, the narrator speaks about how strong the wall are and making comments. Then he starts hearing the cat that he buried with his wife in the wall. The main cause for the narrator’s trip was his guilt and vein he carried. Nothing ever turns out perfect as planned. Works Cited Poe, Edgar Allan. The Black Cat. N. p. : n. p. , n. d. 7. Print. Poe, Edgar Allan. The Black Cat. N. p. : n. p. , n. d. 1. Print. Poe, Edgar Allan. The Black Cat. N. p. : n. p. , n. d. 6. Print.